Source: Housing Wire —
The following Q&A comes from the HW+ exclusive Slack channel, where HousingWire Senior Real Estate Reporter Matthew Blake answered questions about his latest coverage on the impact of the DOJ’s decision and how the industry is gearing up to respond. During the Q&A, Blake discussed the ramifications of previous DOJ investigations into NAR and conversations he has had with top-level agents on how they’re feeling about this news.
The following Q&A has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
HousingWire: To start, the Department of Justice allowing itself to pursue a broader investigation into the NAR is a high-level, brewing conflict. How, if at all, does it practically affect agents?
Mathew Blake: This is not an obscure, legal matter. The DOJ repeatedly said in withdrawing from its consent decree with the Realtor’s trade group that it is looking at commissions. Many scholars and antitrust lawyers, but not many agents, say U.S. real estate commissions are artificially inflated by an illegal horizontal conspiracy between NAR and brokerages. So, if DOJ were to believe that, they would be pursuing ways to lower commissions for consumers.